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Yet More Creepy Crawlies
Here are six more creepy crawlies that live way too close to us. These six nasty, little creatures can be used to inflict terror or great discomfort in your story.
Wasps – paper wasps, yellow jackets, bold-faced hornets – nest in rotten tree stumps, crevices in rocks, and in mud. One can become allergic to their stings without warning. The daughter of a friend of mine, who had never been allergic to their stings before, went into anaphylactic shock after being stung by a red wasp. She almost died. In others, their stings may cause swelling and itching, and possibly difficulty breathing.
Ticks are plenteous in woods, fields, and grassy areas. They mainly feed on the blood of animals, but they will gladly feast on a human being as well. Their bites can cause such diseases as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis.
Kissing bugs – their name suggests they need to make an appearance around Valentine’s Day, but they can appear any time of year and their bite is not so sweet. They feast on the blood of their sleeping victims, and their bites appear as small, red blisters. Doesn't sound so bad, does it? Well, the kissing bug defecates when it bites. When the bite is scratched, the feces of the kissing bug enter the wound. This causes Chagas disease, the cause of serious heart and stomach illnesses.
Fleas can turn into a nightmare. As the owner of several cats and dogs, I can verify that fleas seem to be almost indestructible. If you have a serious infestation, you can carry 60 to 100 bites, or more, at a time. Their bites, which tend to appear in groups, are terribly itchy and can drive you to the brink of insanity.
Mosquitoes thrive in standing water. Mosquito bites are small, but they can cause a myriad of illnesses – illnesses such as West Nile virus, yellow fever, and malaria.
Head lice – just the thought of having them causes me to lose sleep. Little insects crawling on my scalp and feeding on my blood – yuck! Lice spread from one person to another very easily from shared use of combs and brushes, or through head-to-head contact. They don’t spread disease, but the constant scratching of their bites may break the skin open and allow infection to set in.
Chiggers can feast on you, and you won’t even notice until hours after they are done. Then the fierce itching will begin. Their bites can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. A bunch of bites from chiggers could also drive one to the brink of insanity!
How would you manage to rescue a character who was trapped in a pit filled with spiders, fleas, bed bugs, kissing bugs, lice, and chiggers? Don't forget, your character just happens to be terribly allergic to spider bites.
The Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake is the most venomous snake in America. Its potent venom destroys red blood cells and causes tissue damage. Severe pain, nausea, vomiting, along with tingling of the head and extremities, are likely to occur once bitten. Death can occur if one doesn’t get to a doctor.
These snakes do try to avoid contact with humans though, and will only bite when they feel threatened. They make the famous rattling sound with their tail before biting.
If anyone knows of any more creepy crawlies that we live with (the creepier the better), please tell us in the forum. Maybe you will inspire a best-selling story with your knowledge.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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